Motorola    Apple

Courts in Germany have found in favor of Motorola in two cases of patent infringement by Apple.  These are the same types of proceedings that Apple has used to get Samsung products pulled from shelves and show floors in the past, and the current documents from Germany look to affect all Apple mobile products, and have enabled damages that go back to April 2003.  But let's not get too excited, because I doubt that Motorola will ask for Apple products to be banned from sale in Germany, even though the courts have said they can do so.

Of the two patents in question (EP 1010336 (B1) and EP 0847654 (B1)), Motorola has already declared that one (the US version -- U.S. Patent No. 6,359,898) is "essential to ETSI standards (GSM, UMTS, 3G)".  There's a very good chance the other patent will be essential to use as well.  These are not patents on ideas, they are methods to use specific hardware.  Motorola did invent the cell phone, after all.  It's speculated that Apple "allowed" this ruling to happen so they stand a stronger chance during the appeals process, but that sounds very un-Appley and I doubt anyone in Cupertino is happy about the situation.  In addition, Motorola has communicated to Engadget the following:

As media and mobility continue to converge, Motorola Mobility's patented technologies are increasingly important for innovation within the wireless and communications industries, for which Motorola Mobility has developed an industry leading intellectual property portfolio. We will continue to assert ourselves in the protection of these assets, while also ensuring that our technologies are widely available to end-users. We hope that we are able to resolve this matter, so we can focus on creating great innovations that benefit the industry.

It certainly sounds like Motorola wants to license these patents out versus force Apple to stop selling their 3G devices in Germany, and I applaud them for it. 

It's worth noting that Apple has tried and failed to negotiate a better price for network technology patents in the past against Nokia, and while these patents are not the same, the premise is -- without them, you can't make a cell phone.  It's mandated all over the world that fair license fees are charged for these types of patents, and anyone using them has to pay the owner -- even Apple.  Fees will be paid, agreements will be reached, and iPhones will stay on the shelves in Germany.  The full court judgment (in German) is after the break.

Via: Engadget

11-11-04 Default Judgment for MMI Against Apple


Reader comments

German courts grant injunction against Apple for Motorola patent infringement


Looks like you don't fully understand what has occurred. It was a default decision because Apple, Inc. didn't respond to Motorola's suit in time. It wasn't based on the merits of the case, as Apple said in its response. Here's a run down. Apple functions as two entities in Germany, Apple, Inc. and Apple Germany. Motorola sued both. Apple Germany sells Apple products in Germany and Apple, Inc doesn't. Apple, Inc. didn't respond to the suit and plans an appeal. However, Apple Germany's case will proceed normally. 

Since Apple, Inc. didn't respond to Motorola's suit in time, any late evidence would not have been admissible. Apple, Inc. accepted the injunction so the evidence would be admissible during the appeals. Some are theorizing that Apple missed the deadline deliberately as a strategy. If Motorola enforces the injunction and one or more of the patents fall under FRAND, this would have hugh implications and they would face fines from the European Commission plus damages paid to Apple for the injunction. I don't think  Motorola has that kind of cash. It is for these reasons Motorola is unlikely to enforce the injunction. Good move by Apple.  

It is nice to see a big company NOT kicking someone while they are down. I am not a huge Apple fan, but am a Tech fan. I am glad to see Moto not try and get another tech pulled off the shelves. It is a d-bag move no matter who does it.

The sad part is that motorola had an opportunity to give apple a taste if there own medicine & they won't because they're not low enough, but apple is lo enough to either screw another company, they don't know who they're fucking with when dealing with has clout but motorola basically created the mobile phone & isn't the one to be messed with.I see apple losing allot of court cases, this being one of then & another one with a small unknown company witch apple claimed them to be pirates & thieves, destroying there image & business for having a tablet based on android, anyway apple lost & lets just say they have allot of paying up to do & lost allot of"just taking apples word for it without any proof" the court system must of started to realize apple is using then not as real lawsuits or cases but as a business strategy & might of gotten wise to there bull.

Basically apple is doing things other major companies wouldn't do because they wouldn't stoop to such a low level, also there was a very small company that only made one devise *tablet* apple sited them & sued them, calling them thieves & pirates...well it just so happened that apple ruined the companies reputation so bad that they lost there business, but then it comes to be that apples accusations were false & apples lies ruined the small company off false accusations with no proof just there word against the "pirate thieves".now that small company magically has more money than they every had & are on there way to releasing 2 high end devices. apple on the other hand is going on a losing streak taking companies to court & using the judicial system as a business tactic, if you can't see that then maybe it's just me, but many sites posted the same thoughts

Its a d-bag move and apple wrote the book. I would usually agree with you that its stupid to try and get tech pulled off the shelves but apple does it so I think Motorola should have done it to them. apple is trying to get Samsung, and HTC phones and tablets off she shelves and Motorola makes a deal with them? Why because they think the good nature of making a deal will make apple see the light? It won't, apple just continue doing shit until someone turns the tables on them and gives them a taste of their own medicine.

What should have happened is Motorola should have said something like ""sure we'll license them out to you, you let every Android manufacturer license every patent you have and all future patents (for a decent set price) and we'll let you license ours. Otherwise its war!"

I'd like to see all the tech companies that sell parts to apple just stop. Make it so apple can't make the iphone or ipad period by not selling them screens, ram and such maybe that will make them change.

Hope they do stop the sale of iPhones in Europe. Apple is a bully and the only way bullies learn their lesson is to be smacked down, hard.

It would be good to see Moto demand that Apple drop its actions against Samsung in return for Moto not pressing its action. Except that Moto is not really an ally of Samsung here.

Jerry's statement:
It's mandated all over the world that fair license fees are charged for these types of patents, and anyone using them has to pay the owner -- even Apple.
is the key takeway here.

Apple had/has long refused to join the consortium of GSM manufacturers and pay royalties standing on the thin ice that these royalties were already paid by their parts manufacturers.

If this forces Apple to finally join and PAY UP, the amount will be staggering, going back to 2003 or earlier, and Moto and all the other patent holders in the pool will get a huge backlog of cash.

But more importantly, Apple will be forced to license some of its inventions that are key to GSM, (hopefully not their antennas).

This is especially interesting in the light of Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Now they are in a great position to protect Android from Apple. And they can do it very reasonably: "We don't want ANY money for these patents, just an agreement that you can't sue us or our licensees" Can't get more RAND than free! (Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory; that's the standard generally applied for patents such as these)

Apple has done there best to PISS on android each chance they have had. Apple has tried pissing on HTC and SAMSUNG now it's time to PISS ON APPLE. Nothing wrong with KICKING a company when they are down they do it to everyone else.

I must agree with you good sir. I want this lawsuit crap to go away. Butttttt... Apple is going to continue their witch hunts so the geek in me says "Damn straight go for the jugular Moto!"

I can't wait to read Rene's reaction at TIPB. He has a real hard on to see Samsung banned everywhere. I wonder if he will be so approving of the same German court now?

If Apple prefer to kill their competition instead of reaching common ground, why should Motorola not take them out. An eye for an eye. I know it would be unfair, but Apple doesn't play nice. All they want to do is destroy all opponents. Maybe a deal would be reached, and I wish it would involve them dropping all lawsuits against all Android manufacturers, but I think Apple will die before they agree to that.

Ironic thing is, they always claim others are infringing on their patents and they have been doing the same thing for years. You reap what you sew

Eye for an eye leaves the world blind...and unfortunately in this case, it would also leave consumers "blind" by limiting consumers' choices in smartphone devices.

Although I do agree with your assessment that Apple will reap what it sows, I say either let them make deals to dismiss their other lawsuits, or let them pay for their patent infringements.

Seeing how Steve is now no longer with us. Apple under Cook might be more amenable to finding a solution here. To quote Susan Powder I hope Apple now sees it's time to STOP THE INSANITY!

Steve has/had a training program in place to make sure his views are shared by his successors.

Shared yes. Followed to the letter no. This was a personal vendetta by Steve. If Moto and some of the others have success with their injunctions. Cook I believe is a more level headed person. Yes he has drank the cool aid. That doesn't mean he doesn't have a boiler maker next to it though. The businessman in him may just say lets bury all this and make more profits.

Like they say, what goes around, comes around.

But maybe, just maybe since Jobs is dead, will Apple change their ways? Jobs did state, "I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40bn in the bank, to right this wrong," Jobs told Isaacson. "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."

Well, since Jobs is not longer around is Apple ready to spend all their money in trying to destroy Android?

Strange?? Steve Jobs dies and now all of a sudden Apple starts losing court cases? Wonder who's not getting on the pay roll anymore?

What a surprise. You mess with the bull and eventually you get the horns. Apple is picking fights with all these manufacturers with Huge patent portfolios, and alot of them for technologies they didnt even invent! they need to drop the crusade and start doing business! the big manufacturers need to to gang up together against the patent trolls. as someone once said... "Join me. We can end this destructive conflict, and bring order to the galaxy!"

This the way I want to start the weekend with news like this .i want to see ios burn to the grown. The funny part is , I'm writing this from my iPad .
I really hate them for what their trying to do to android
Everyone wants to praise Steve jobs , I see him as just simply being a very evil man. To do his friends the way he did , to do is own daughter the way he did . Making statement the way he does about android and Microsoft . He needs to get a taste of his own medicine

This is good news. I hate Apple. Who would want to copy their boring icon grid. I prefer icons and widgets and Tron holographic quad core super AMOled screens.

Google needs to buy Palm/WebOS to get those patents too. That would pretty much keep Apple from filing dumb lawsuits...

Google can also buy Palm/WebOS to get a smoother experience inside Android. Another option for Google is RIM, because it has a good patent portfolio and Android can maybe get an smoother experience than getting Palm/WebOS.

It's just a shame that Steve wasn't around to see this.. I would have loved to see his lies... Er spin on this one... Try and claim that Apple did it first or something.

Apple's lawyers didn't respond in time. It's strictly a legal matter that has nothing to do with the subject of the case.

What no one bothered to point out is that this is a meaningless win and that Apple lost only because they didn't bother to argue the case. Apple Inc doesn't sell any production in Germany, so what are they really losing? Um... Nothing.

When big corporations set out to cripple rivals, the contagion of litigation spreads like a virus, clogging the arteries of trade. Motorola are being reasonable; I don't feel the same about Apple or Samsung at the moment.

The consumer ALWAYS pays for the total cost of production + distribution + profit margin. Now we also pay for these legal machinations.

The same thing happened during the early days of radio and airplane. Once the "flying machine" was granted a patent. I am not sure how that turned out. It was not Apple I would assume or we would all be riding on Amtrack.